I teased you all a bit last week by saying that today’s post may cause half of you to drop me from your RSS readers. I have a confession to make, and it could tarnish your image of me… I’m a Dirty Liberal.
There, I said it, the truth is out (waits as half the readers file out of the room).
I’ve avoided talking politics on this blog for a couple of reasons. Mostly, because I want this to be a place where anybody (even people like Dave Fowler) can visit and not feel excluded. The other reason is quite simply, politics doesn’t define me. And to be honest, liberalism doesn’t define me. To be more accurate, I’m more likely a centrist (waits as 25% of the hardcore liberals exit the room). I also fear unintentionally shading the content of this site with my political beliefs.
“Was that post about stinky poo really a swipe at Republicans?”
You see, political beliefs tend to divide people who might otherwise get along. People get VERY wrapped up in their ideologies, so much that it becomes their identities.
I know this because I have friends and acquaintances who are Republicans. Some of them are foaming-at-the-mouth angry over this election season. There are some people I won’t even talk to because I know I’m just going to hear an endless rant about how Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist, non-American, non-flag pin wearing, communist, socialist who wipes his butt with the American Flag while using aborted fetuses as slippers. And they are angry at me for not agreeing with them.
The interesting part is that the people who are most certain in their own infallibility and ideologies are usually the people who are the least informed. They follow the party lines, they rarely read outside the curriculum. They RARELY challenge their own beliefs. They point their fingers at evil not realizing the true sources of their pain. I know people on both sides of aisle who are like this, it isn’t just a Right thing.
I’ve always held my beliefs to a higher standard.
I demand a bit more from those who wish to mold me in their likeness. I ask questions. I DEMAND answers. I am also open minded enough to consider new evidence. I have also changed my beliefs on major issues, something which seems to be rare these days. More people seem to be interested in defending their beliefs and seek only facts which suport their ideologies. Anything to the contrary is seen as an outright lie and immediately discounted.
Break free form the herd mentality
I also never take the words of a radio or television personality as the gospel.
The talking heads on the Right and Left have a secret that they don’t want you to know. But I know it because I was in the media. I dealt with the PR hacks. I know how information works. And here is their dirty secret – they NEED you to keep thinking in this Us versus Them mentality. They need you to see things as either black or white and right or wrong. It is a divisive tactic. It is used to sell advertising. It is used to use you.
Truth is, you are nothing more than a commodity to these corporations and the powers that be.
I’m not saying the truth isn’t out there. It’s just not easy to discern. Even if you take away the selfish interests of those who control and shape information, even if you find a reputable journalist who busts their ass to deliver the truth, and there are some out there, you’ll not likely find the truth on TV or the radio.
The truth is complex. Shades of gray can’t be capsulized in 30 second sound bites.
We will NEVER know the whole story. There are so many hidden influences, motives and powers pushing buttons that it is nearly impossible to ever find something which is as simple as it black and white, right or wrong. Politics makes for strange bedfellows and too many politicians are whores willing to sell your ass for their interests.
So even if you think you know it all, you don’t. You can’t. All you can do it try to stay informed by as many different sources as possible. In time you will find a few sources which can be trusted more than others.
So why am I bringing all this up now?
Well, because tomorrow is election day in the United States. It’s a big election to say the least. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I won’t even tell you that you SHOULD vote. An uninformed vote is worse than no vote. Tempers WILL flare between friends and families. Words WILL be exchanged. And it’s going to get personal and it’s going to get ugly. It already has.
I would advise you to rise above the fray. Don’t fight someone else’s battle, a battle in which you are merely a pawn.
Life is too short. There is too much to love to wallow in the hate of Us versus Them.
I have another confession to make… I don’t really think half of you will drop me from your RSS readers. If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously a person who takes their time and doesn’t rush to judgment.
As always, thanks for reading.
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